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Currently Browsing: romance
Jun
3

Review: Fire & Frost Anthology

Review: Fire & Frost Anthology Fire & Frost Authors: Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims Release Date: May 25, 2013 Publisher: self-published Genre: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk Romance, Anthology Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child…but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?       Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed and rejected nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything…or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. Maybe Veronica can finally get some peace and quiet so she can work on her computer. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.       Wrecked by Meljean Brook – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear—and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go… What I’m talking about: Speed Mating by Jessica Sims Midnight Liaisons series       Estrella is an anomaly in her pack–she is a liger: half tiger, half lion. While she doesn’t really fit in with her tiger pack, she is not accepted at all by the lion pack. Estrella had always been told she was sterile, and she believed that right up until she realized that she was going into heat. Now with only a week’s notice, she needs to find someone she likes to service her needs and be the father of her child.       The one man she truly desires...
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Apr
24

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison Rising Darkness Author: Thea Harrison  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Game of Shadows #1 ISBN: #978-0425248454 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       In the hospital ER where she works, Mary is used to chaos. But lately, every aspect of her life seems adrift. She’s feeling disconnected from herself. Voices appear in her head. And the vivid, disturbing dreams she’s had all her life are becoming more intense. Then she meets Michael. He’s handsome, enigmatic and knows more than he can say. In his company, she slowly remembers the truth about herself…       Thousands of years ago, there were eight of them. The one called the Deceiver came to destroy the world, and the other seven followed to stop him. Reincarnated over and over, they carry on—and Mary finds herself drawn into the battle once again. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that Michael will go to any lengths to destroy the Deceiver.       Then she remembers who killed her during her last life, nine hundred years ago…Michael. What I’m talking about:       The story opens with a dream of a life from the very distant past, in a “galaxy far, far away,” although our heroine, Mary, doesn’t realize this until later in the story. She dreams of a criminal escaping and of comrades dying in one life to be reborn in another in order to find him and bring justice. To try and shake the dream and the stress of her life as an ER doctor in a nearby hospital, she goes for a run. When she thinks she sees and hears the wind talking, Mary becomes even more confused and a little concerned, starting to question her sanity. However, when her ex-husband (but still good friend) tries to get her to the doctor, she runs from the appointment and his help.       Rising Darkness unfolds slowly, giving the reader different point-of-views and sides to the same story. We learn about our hero, Michael and meet “Grandmother,” along with a few humans who know some of the secrets hidden among the naive population of Earth. I was a bit confused for a while, trying to piece together all of the sections and understand what had happened in the past and what it meant for this book. Although the story is revealed gradually, it...
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Apr
12

Review: Assassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby

Review: Assassin’s Gambit by Amy Raby Assassin’s Gambit Author: Amy Raby  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Signet Hearts and Thrones #1 ISBN: #978-0451417824 Genre: Fantasy Romance Format(s): Paperback (400 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire. As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well. Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good. What B is talking about: Trained to be an assassin from the moment she was sold as a child to the Obsidian Circle by her Riorcan parents, Vitala Salonius is as cold and deadly as the weapons she yields underneath her skin. Armed with her beauty, magic, strength, and intelligence, she’ll do anything to lead her people to freedom from the empire that subjugates them, even if she has to sacrifice herself to do so. But, when a hostile faction within the Kjallan empire itself attempts to murder her target and seize power for itself, her straightforward mission is thrown into chaos, leaving Vitala with no choice but to act on her own in order to succeed. As she embarks on the unlikeliest of alliances, the game changes, and she risks losing something she’d never been allowed acknowledge until now: her heart. Lucien Nigellus, the youngest, and only surviving, son of an unpopular emperor, is well aware of the sacrifices he’ll have to make in order to hold on to his precarious claim to the throne. More prone to utilize strategy than brute force...
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Apr
2

Review: Tethered by Meljean Brook

Review: Tethered by Meljean Brook Tethered Author: Meljean Brook  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Penguin ebook Iron Seas #2.5 Genre: Steampunk Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Surviving on the treacherous Iron Seas requires a heart of steel…but how can Yasmeen hope to survive when her heart has already been stolen by Archimedes Fox…?      Tethered along the south dock of Port Fallow, Captain Yasmeen Corsair’s magnificent new airship, Lady Nergüi, awaits its departure with adventurer and treasure-hunter Archimedes Fox. But this time, Yasmeen, a fearless mercenary who has always prided herself on a heart of steel, has reasons to worry when Miles Bilson, an acquaintance from Archimedes’ earlier smuggling days, sends an urgent message requesting help.      With a past marked by betrayal, Archimedes wonders what his former partner could want—other than revenge. Yasmeen fears that Bilson could threaten everything Archimedes holds dear. Though both Archimedes and Yasmeen love the exhilaration of veering wildly off course, neither is prepared for where there newest risk will take them…or what it might cost them. What I’m talking about:      Tethered is a wonderful novella set in Meljean Brook’s Iron Seas series set sometime after the second book, Heart of Steel. Although this story can be read stand alone, it does build upon the events in the second book, and therefore, contains some spoilers from Heart of Steel. Also, I feel those that have read the series will have more emotional investment in the characters.      The story opens with hilarious letters sent between our hero, Archimedes Fox and his sister, Zenobia. Their correspondences set the mood for the story, and although there are extremely serious moments during the book, the letters serve as a reminder that the characters know how to laugh at themselves and enjoy life.      An old associate of Archimedes shows up on board the Lady Nergüi, and soon Fox and Yasmeen find themselves on a rescue mission for which they did not willingly volunteer. But no matter the circumstances, Archimedes and Yasmeen seem to always be on step ahead of the nefarious Miles Bilson.      I adore how much Archimedes loves Yasmeen. Knowing she is carries much sorrow from the loss of her previous airship and its crew, he finds a way to help her deal with the painful memories without compromising the woman she is. The fact that he danced for her, joked and played, then finally...
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Mar
18

Review: Her Knight’s Quest by Alexis Morgan

Review: Her Knight’s Quest by Alexis Morgan Her Knight’s Quest Author: Alexis Morgan  Release Date: March 5, 2013 Publisher: Signet Warriors of the Mist #2 ISBN: #978-0451239594 Genre: Fantasy Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:      For centuries, five legendary warriors have braved battles shoulder to shoulder. But now they must divide and conquer as lone champions against evil.       Duncan, a scholar at heart, is drawn to an isolated abbey rumored to hold the answers to countering the terror unleashed by Duke Keirthan. Inside the cloistered walls lies the hidden collection of forbidden lore on dark magic. But the real key to the salvation Duncan seeks—both for the people of Agathia and his soul—is the abbess herself, Lady Lavinia. Hunted by the duke, who seeks to harvest her powers, Lavinia knows Duncan wants to help her. But can she trust the tortured warrior with her secrets?      In the end, it is only by joining forces that they can save not only those they are sworn to protect but each other. What I’m talking about:      Duncan is one of the five fabled Warriors of the Mist who sleep within the River of the Damned. When a darkest began to descend over her estate, Lady Merewen called forth these ancient warriors to help rid the land of evil. At the end of the first book, My Lady Mage, Duncan set out in search of answers to help destroy their enemy. At the beginning of Her Knight’s Quest, Duncan is en route to an abbey which is rumored to hold ancient, magical texts. He is playing the part of a scholar looking for work as a scribe.      Lavinia is the head of the abbey and sworn to protect the secrets within its walls. She is all to aware of the evil at hand and the man at the root of the dark magic, Duke Keirthan. Lavinia is able to perform magic of her own, including scrying for visions of what the future may hold. So when the magic waters share more than one image of Duncan, Lavinia realizes he will be someone significant in her life.      Her Knight’s Quest is the delightful sophomore story in the Warriors of the Mist series. After providing basic framework for the world and mythology in her first book, Ms. Morgan takes the time to further explore several of the characters, including backgrounds and talents. There...
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Feb
20

Review: A Kiss for A Cure by Sidney Bristol

Review: A Kiss for A Cure by Sidney Bristol A Kiss for a Cure Author: Sidney Bristol  Release Date: Feb. 4, 2013 Publisher: Lyrical Press Fuller Center #1 Genre: Sci-fi Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: What’s a girl to do when her parents gift her with a man for Christmas? Caught between two kingdoms, Jordan has given up the privileged world of intergalactic court life to become an interstellar biologist researching space sharks. Unexpectedly saddled with a husband from a race who are rumored to be sex fiends, her life is yanked in a direction she doesn’t want. But Cai isn’t human and he must have the emotional feedback of a mate in order to survive. Charged with protecting Jordan, can he win her heart and keep her safe from harm? Will they survive the challenges that arise…sexual, emotional and political? Time is ticking away and it’s not on their side. What I’m talking about: Living alone on a space research center, Jordan didn’t plan to do much for the Christmas holidays. In addition, as the illegitimate daughter of two powerful parents (who were forbidden to marry) from neighboring kingdoms, Jordan is used to being alone. So when Jordan discovers that the package from her parents contains a male – a husband none the less, she doesn’t know how to respond.  Cai is from a race of people that requires emotional feedback and physical intimacy in order to survive. Agreeing to marry Jordan seemed like an ideal opportunity to Cai, and he can’t understand why Jordan finds the situation so appalling. Now he’s stuck between wanting Jordan and wanting to give her the freedom she desires. I completely adored A Kiss for a Cure. The opening sequences as Jordan watched her “present” open to reveal a man were priceless. The humor was subtle but stellar. Lines like “Sane people did not receive men in boxes for Christmas from their parents,” made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.  I am a science-nerd at heart, and sci-fi is my first love. I totally geeked out over the wonderful play-by-play as Jordan attempted to scientifically break down Cai and his race’s need for physical and emotional feedback. Her responses as a scientist and her need to find a “cure” were perfectly played. The premise behind the story and Cai’s “condition” was well thought out and presented to the reader in an effective and entertaining manner. The story is full of wonderful descriptive scenes such as...
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Feb
11

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts Author: Heather Massey  Release Date: Jan. 30, 2013 Publisher: Lyrical Press Genre: Western, Romance, Steampunk Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: The West just got a whole lot wilder.  A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.  A man with a secret…  Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.  A perilous quest…  Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late. What I’m talking about: Violet Whitcomb has lived a fairly isolated life as the only child of famous inventor Joseph Whitcomb. After her mother died, Violet spent most of her childhood helping her father with his top-secret creations, the biggest and best of which is about to be revealed.  Traveling through the Wyoming Territory aboard a luxury steam engine, Violet lives vicariously through her weekly reader “The Lady’s Fireside Collection” and the romantic adventures of John “Wild Wolf” Wallace. Yearning for adventure and a love of her own, Violet is immediately taken with a handsome stranger on the train. Soon the safety of her world is shaken when the Iron Scorpion sends his terrifying machines to kidnap Violet’s father. Enlisting the aid of her stranger, Logan McCoy, Violet sets out into the unknown to rescue her Papa.  Violet is extremely lonely, and I empathize with her desires to break out of her father’s shadow and live her own life. Yet, she comes across naive, with an innocent childlike quality, and I am uncertain she could make it on her own. This image of Violet is reinforced time and time again, especially in her interactions with Logan. The lines between stubbornness and childish were...
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Jan
15

Review: Black Fallen by Elle Jasper

Review: Black Fallen by Elle Jasper Black Fallen Author: Elle Jasper   Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: Signet The Dark Ink Chronicles #4 ISBN: 978-0451413529 Genre: Urban Fantasy, romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       After surviving life-threatening bites from three powerful strigoi vampires, tattoo artist Riley Poe has absorbed their powers and is stronger than ever. Just as she’s learning to harness her newfound abilities, she and her vampire guardian fiancé, Eli Dupré, agree to join the elite Worldwide Unexplained Phenomena team.        This task force, composed of vampires, druids, werewolves, and otherbeings, has been assigned to take down the Black Fallen, a powerful race of fallen angels consumed by the darkest magic. These dangerous creatures are searching for the ultimate source of power in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Riley will be the WUP team’s secret weapon to take them down. She must be careful, though, or their dark power could engulf her—and her heart, too….   What VampBard’s talking...
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Jan
7

Review: The Inventor by Theresa Meyers

Review: The Inventor by Theresa Meyers The Inventor Author: Theresa Meyers  Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012 Publisher: Zebra Books The Legend Chronicles prequel Genre: Paranormal Steampunk Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Sir Marley Turlock doesn’t normally bother with flirtation. He’s an inventor, a scientist, not a gadabout. And the floor of the inaugural London Aeronautical Exhibition, just before he presents his groundbreaking new device to the Queen herself, is not the place to change his habits toward the fairer sex. But Lady Persephone Hargrieve has her delicate fingers engaged in the innards of his device before Marley can catch his breath at her beauty. He’s never met a woman like her—a fiery intelligence to match his own, a genius for mechanics, and more secrets than he can guess. Of course, Sephie’s secrets aren’t all innocuous tricks to make the gears spin smoother. It’s no coincidence that she’s turned up to investigate Marley’s machines—if they’re good enough, if he can be trusted enough, they might save the country. Even if along the way she ends up losing her heart… What I’m talking about: For those of us that read The Legend Chronicles series by Theresa Meyers, we know and love grouchy ol’ Marley: genius inventor extraordinaire. He is friend to the Winn Brothers (the men of legend fighting the evil Darken), but lives alone. He has a mysterious past, one hinted full of lost love and sadness. So when Ms. Meyers shared with me (at AADNOLA) that she was telling Marley’s backstory in an upcoming novella, I was giddy! And a note to those that haven’t read the series, The Inventor is a prequel set several years before the beginning of the series and can be read at any time. There are no series spoilers in this novella. The short story takes place in London, 1868, and opens with Marley working on his latest invention. He hopes to impress the Queen and be invited to join the prestigious Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. While stumped trying to work out a kink in his inventions, the lovely Lady Persephone Hargrieve sits down and starts tinkering (with his permission). Marley is immediately taken with Sephie and hopes to court her, even though she is daughter of Lord Hargrieve and above his station. Lord Hargrieve is impressed with Marley and invites him to his home to discuss a project. It is here that Marley learns the true nature of Lord Hargrieve’s work:...
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Dec
20

Review: Nightwalker by Allyson James

Review: Nightwalker by Allyson James Nightwalker Author: Allyson James  Release Date: Oct. 11, 2012 Publisher: self-published Stormwalker #4 ISBN: #978-0986023842 Genre: Urban Fantasy Format(s): Paperback (376 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Stormwalker Janet Begay, proprietor of the Crossroads Hotel, a place where the paranormal stop for a safe night’s rest, discovers the hard way that a slayer is targeting Ansel, a Nightwalker who’s become a more-or-less permanent resident.  When Janet and her lover Mick intervene to save Ansel’s un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet has her hands full already with the upcoming marriage of her father, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote’s wife, her crazy half-sister, a couple dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who’s behaving strangely again.  But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel, or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.  What I’m talking about: Nightwalker is the fourth installment of Allyson James’ excellent Stormwalker urban fantasy series centering around Native American Janet Begay, born from half evil goddess and half storm magic. This series is one of my absolute favorites, and while you could start with Nightwalker, I highly recommend you start at the beginning. The overarching plot development and detailed character growth over the first three stories is phenomenal, making each story richer than the previous. Our current story opens with Janet’s friend and resident nightwalker (vampire), Ansel, under attack from a professional slayer. It appears that Ansel may have killed his human girlfriend while in a blood frenzy, and now her sister has placed a bounty on Ansel’s head. And per usual, poor Janet can’t catch a break. As she takes off on her brand new motorcycle to investigate a lead, her bike becomes possessed, carrying her at high speeds down the highway. And to top it off, her magic mirror is broken – all darkened and unresponsive. Nightwalker, like each book before it, had me hooked from the very start. First, the overall mystery is engrossing. Janet and her fiancé Mick work together to figure out if Ansel did kill his girlfriend, or if not him, who is hiding the truth. Along the way...
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